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Thread: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by bambuko View Post
    correction
    these threads are actually 1/4"-32 tpi (UNF)
    Apologies for causing confusion.
    Did you receive those specs directly from The Welders Warehouse?

    I ask because recently I communicated with Graham Rhoades (Founding Partner / Technical Advisor) of The Welders Warehouse, and he was kind enough to relay the following specs("full data from the factory") ;

    'The Welders Warehouse Multi-Jet Oxygen + Propane Nozzles'

    "Nozzle Thread is ¼” x 36TPI UNF

    Diameter of centre Flame Jet Holes are:

    No1 = 0.7mm
    No3 = 0.9mm
    No5 = 1.1mm
    No7 = 1.4mm"
    ...
    "They’re made in Taiwan"

    'Just hoping to prevent anyone(including myself) potentially damaging their (Smith AT61 ¼” x 32TPI) elbows and tips.

    Also, what do you think of the tips currently (pros & cons etc.)?

    Thanks in advance,
    Jihoon

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmdo Molah View Post
    Did you receive those specs directly from The Welders Warehouse?

    ...
    As per my original post:
    I have bought and received these nozzles.
    Threads quoted in my message are those I actually measure from nozzles I had in my hand.

    Having said so, it was 5 years ago...
    things and specs of the product at Welders Warehouse may have changed?
    Chris Kaminski

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    I would like to use the Meco OX tips (w/ propane), and originally considered the Meco Midget torch for use with an oxygen concentrator. But a few users have noted in other threads that the Meco Midget is not ideal for use with an oxygen concentrator when higher output pressure of oxygen is needed, and that in such cases an oxygen tank with its higher pressure would be needed to compensate for the Midget's mixer (which was perhaps not designed/optimized with propane in mind, unlike the Smith AT61 or Victor UN-J mixers/elbows).

    So I'm now considering the Smith or Victor style torches for use with Meco OX tips, but Paige Tools does not ship to my neck of the woods, so I need to make an adapter like Paige Tools' NK/UN adapters or make my own neck for a mixer like the following (made by 'Aerometalworker' from the Miller forum):

    Aerometalworker's Smith-Meco (1).jpg

    Aerometalworker's Smith-Meco (2).jpg

    Note: The mixer is actually a modified Smith AW201 tip's mixer, the diy neck(elbow) is "free machining brass ( no lead )", and the tip is a regular Meco tip. The item of interest here is the diy neck(elbow).

    According to 'Aerometalworker', the internal threading where the elbow threads into the mixer side (of the AW201 tip assembly) is 1/4"-28 TPI. Therefore, the diy neck above has 1/4"-28 TPI on both ends.

    [ Questions ]
    1. Can anyone confirm if the Smith AT61 mixer's internal threads (where the elbow threads into the mixer side) are also 1/4"-28 TPI? (Note: I am well aware that the tip side threads are 1/4"-32 TPI)

    2. Does anyone have experience making an adapter like the Paige Tools NK/UN adapters? If so, my main points of interest are:
    a. Any noteworthy pointers for using an end mill to form the adapter's internal 'flat'(landing) for a proper seal with the neck's male tip.
    b. Any noteworthy pointers for forming the adapter's male tip section for a proper seal internally within the Meco OX tip.

    Thanks in advance,

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmdo Molah View Post
    I would like to use the Meco OX tips (w/ propane), and originally considered the Meco Midget torch for use with an oxygen concentrator. But a few users have noted in other threads that the Meco Midget is not ideal for use with an oxygen concentrator when higher output pressure of oxygen is needed, and that in such cases an oxygen tank with its higher pressure would be needed to compensate for the Midget's mixer (which was perhaps not designed/optimized with propane in mind, unlike the Smith AT61 or Victor UN-J mixers/elbows).
    Sorry I can't help with the questions at the moment, but I've had fine success with a Meco Midget and an oxygen concentrator with the exception of when I tried to braze some 1/8" wall material.

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by TRuth View Post
    I've had fine success with a Meco Midget and an oxygen concentrator with the exception of when I tried to braze some 1/8" wall material.
    Thanks, well noted. Have you had no issues brazing say dropouts for example with the Midget on a concentrator (and propane)?

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    BTW, if the Smith AT61 mixer's internal threading is 1/4"-28 TPI (I hope...), the only necessary tools needed (assuming a lathe is available) to make a neck(elbow) for the Smith torch and Meco(TM Tech.) OX tips would be;

    - one die (1/4"-28 TPI)
    - one bending tool
    (affordable versions both readily available online)

    As such, it would be much more cost effective to make a neck than to make an adapter, which would require both a tap & die, as well as potentially a special tap drill & end mill (for the internal flat for proper sealing).

    Interesting what 'Aerometalworker' mentioned (in the Miller forum's "Gas Welding Alluminum" post #10 ):
    "... many of the small aircraft torches use the same 1/4-28 threaded mixer, I was told this was due to wartime interchangability. The Meco Aviator and a couple others used 5/16-27 thread on their mixers ..."

    'Can't help wondering also about the Victor UN-J mixer's internal threads(for the neck/elbow), whether it is 1/4"-28 TPI or 5/16"-27 TPI?
    If it is 1/4"-28 TPI, my torch considerations would likely shift in favor of the Victor style torches (more options).

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Are you aware of the G-tec company that makes a mixer for the Smith AT-61 but has a separate screw-on elbow that has Victor threads on the tip end. This allows for the Smith AW1A torch handle to use Victor TEN propane tips. And with a Paige adapter it is also possible to use Meco and Paige tips as well. The separate elbow uses Victor threads on both ends. They make 2 elbow lengths. Incidentally, they also make a mixer for Victor and compatibles. And in addition, they make clones of Victor TEN tips out of brass (instead of copper).

    Here is a picture of mine with their brass TEN tip. The other one with the short elbow fits Victor torch handles. Remember that both elbows can be unscrewed from the mixer.
    IMG_3362.jpg

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Doug, first, thank you sir and all the other kind folks on VS, for so generously sharing your knowledge.

    Yes, I've been aware of G-Tec (thanks to you again), but I had no idea they offered such mixers and elbows with such detail as you've shared, for their website has VERY limited information about them (no individual product descriptions or photos etc.) only a brief mention of such product category and one tiny photo of all components laid out making it difficult to make out any physical details.

    Based on your descriptions I have some questions for your confirmation or consideration;

    [ Questions ]

    1. If G-Tec's 'Goosenecks' are all 'Victor threads'(5/16"-27 TPI) on both ends, then both mixers, even the Smith style mixer, have internal/female 5/16"-27 TPI threads that mate with the 'Goosenecks'?

    2. Have you(or anyone else) tried G-Tec's 'Multi-flame brazing tips'?
    * These have 6 smaller holes around the central aperture. I would think that these would be less prone to 'flame blow out' compared to the 'Single flame brazing tips'(clones of Victor TEN tips with recessed tips) you've mentioned.

    3. Regarding Smith mixers (made by Smith not G-Tec), aside from the different types of detachable acetylene tips(copper necks) and 'threaded tip tube' like the AT61, is the only difference between the mixers for regular acetylene tips/mixers and those for LP gases, the number of fuel inlet holes on the mixer?

    4. Again Regarding Smith mixers (made by Smith not G-Tec), would it be feasible with a suitable milling machine and care, to 'drill' additional fuel inlet holes in a Smith acetylene mixer (say from an AW200 series tip's mixer) for use with propane like the AT61?
    * If I cannot get confirmation from Miller or elsewhere about the AT61 mixer's internal/female thread specification (if it is 1/4"-28 TPI or not), then I'm considering modifying an AW200 series tip's mixer as suggested above, for it's internal threads are 1/4"-28 TPI, and I could make a custom 'dual 1/4"-28 TPI threaded tip tube' like 'Aerometalworker' has shown in his 'Smith-Meco' setup.

    Thank you,
    Jihoon Jo

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmdo Molah View Post
    ...
    * If I cannot get confirmation from Miller or elsewhere about the AT61 mixer's internal/female thread specification (if it is 1/4"-28 TPI or not), then I'm considering modifying an AW200 series tip's mixer as suggested above, for it's internal threads are 1/4"-28 TPI, and I could make a custom 'dual 1/4"-28 TPI threaded tip tube' like 'Aerometalworker' has shown in his 'Smith-Meco' setup.
    After some thought, I realized it may be easier(and perhaps cheaper*) to get a Victor (UN-J?) style G-Tec mixer, and just get 2 dies ( 5/16"-27 and 1/4"-28 ) for mixer and tip side, and perhaps a Uniweld 71 torch.
    * The savings coming from the price difference between the Smith AW1A and Uniweld 71 torch, even with an additional die purchase.

    I'll check with G-Tec on current costs of mixers / international shipping and post an update.

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmdo Molah View Post
    Doug, first, thank you sir and all the other kind folks on VS, for so generously sharing your knowledge.

    Yes, I've been aware of G-Tec (thanks to you again), but I had no idea they offered such mixers and elbows with such detail as you've shared, for their website has VERY limited information about them (no individual product descriptions or photos etc.) only a brief mention of such product category and one tiny photo of all components laid out making it difficult to make out any physical details.

    Based on your descriptions I have some questions for your confirmation or consideration;

    [ Questions ]

    1. If G-Tec's 'Goosenecks' are all 'Victor threads'(5/16"-27 TPI) on both ends, then both mixers, even the Smith style mixer, have internal/female 5/16"-27 TPI threads that mate with the 'Goosenecks'? Yes, this is correct. Both ends of their elbow have Victor threads

    2. Have you(or anyone else) tried G-Tec's 'Multi-flame brazing tips'?
    * These have 6 smaller holes around the central aperture. I would think that these would be less prone to 'flame blow out' compared to the 'Single flame brazing tips'(clones of Victor TEN tips with recessed tips) you've mentioned. Yes I have tried their multiport tips. The problem is that these tips are very big and act more like a rosebud. They are not very suitable for most bicycle frame brazing applications. They were made for the plumbing trade sweating copper tubing (I think). They say the flames on their biggest tip can surround a 4" pipe

    3. Regarding Smith mixers (made by Smith not G-Tec), aside from the different types of detachable acetylene tips(copper necks) and 'threaded tip tube' like the AT61, is the only difference between the mixers for regular acetylene tips/mixers and those for LP gases, the number of fuel inlet holes on the mixer? No, the holes are also bigger as well as being more numerous

    4. Again Regarding Smith mixers (made by Smith not G-Tec), would it be feasible with a suitable milling machine and care, to 'drill' additional fuel inlet holes in a Smith acetylene mixer (say from an AW200 series tip's mixer) for use with propane like the AT61? I don't know
    * If I cannot get confirmation from Miller or elsewhere about the AT61 mixer's internal/female thread specification (if it is 1/4"-28 TPI or not), then I'm considering modifying an AW200 series tip's mixer as suggested above, for it's internal threads are 1/4"-28 TPI, and I could make a custom 'dual 1/4"-28 TPI threaded tip tube' like 'Aerometalworker' has shown in his 'Smith-Meco' setup.

    Thank you,
    Jihoon Jo
    you're welcome (I had to say something here so I could put my answers in red in your text).

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    A 'Senior Member' of the Miller forum who goes by 'tackit', offered help by calling Miller, talking to 'the girl there' who got 'Engineering' to send 'tackit' the following information about the AT61 'Threaded Tip Tube';

    "... the mixer inside threads are 1/4X28, the nozzle threads inside the Mixer are 10X32."
    Note
    1. The "mixer inside threads" (1/4" x 28 TPI) of course refers to the copper tip/tube mating with the mixer.
    2. The bonus info of "the nozzle threads inside the Mixer" (10 x 32 TPI) must refer to the internal threading that runs from about the fuel inlet holes to the end of the mixer(torch side) which mates the 'connical tipped insert' Miller Engineering calls "nozzle", at the central oxygen inlet / torch-side mixer-end (very bottom of the image marked "In-Tip Mix").

    Smith Tip & Mixer Assembly.jpg

    Regarding G-Tec options, I got the following quotation
    1. Mixers: US$ 45.90
    2. 8” Goosenecks: US$ 27.69
    3. 12” Goosenecks: US$ 30.11
    * The other 2 shorter Goosenecks shown in Doug's photo should be cheaper. I asked about the longer ones only because I was considering cutting off the bent tips, rethreading one side 1/4" x 28 TPI, and rebending.
    4. International Shipping : US$ 135.00 (to Korea)
    5. US Domestic Shipping: US$ 18.00 (to New Jersey)

    G-Tec was so kind and prompt even with such a small value inquiry, that I will keep them in mind for future customization needs. I'll have to seek shipping via my NJ relative though.

    With all things considered though, I think the custom 'dual 1/4" x 28 TPI threaded tip tube' for a 'Smith-Meco(TM Tech)' setup is for me the simplest most effective solution.

    Again, many thanks to Doug, and special thanks to 'tackit' at the Miller forum. Cheers!


    - Jihoon Jo
    Last edited by Ahmdo Molah; 08-25-2021 at 08:22 PM.

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    I took a picture this morning of a G-tec multi-port tip and the flame it produces. It is their #2 and the smallest one I bought. It is actually too big for most frame brazing applications. It produces a very nice quality flame with a sharp center flame. Too bad it isn't more useful for us.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Doug,

    You have expressed your preference for Meco (TM Technologies) OX Series 'multi-port tips', particularly when a sharp flame tip is preferred.

    In the 'acetylene vs propane' thread (page 16, post #315), you mentioned, " I would get the Paige #2 and Meco #3 if I was forced to reduce my tip inventory."

    But you've also mentioned that you use almost all the various sizes of tips except the # zeros.

    If you were limited to using the following list of Meco OX Series tips, which size tip would be your preference for which processes?

    *Tip*--*Process*
    OX 1:
    OX 2:
    OX 3:
    OX 4:
    OX 5:

    Thanks,
    Jihoon Jo

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by Ahmdo Molah View Post
    Doug,

    You have expressed your preference for Meco (TM Technologies) OX Series 'multi-port tips', particularly when a sharp flame tip is preferred.

    In the 'acetylene vs propane' thread (page 16, post #3 15 ), you mentioned, " I would get the Paige #2 and Meco #3 if I was forced to reduce my tip inventory."

    But you've also mentioned that you use almost all the various sizes of tips except the # zeros.

    If you were limited to using the following list of Meco OX Series tips, which size tip would be your preference for which processes?

    *Tip*--*Process*
    OX 1:
    OX 2:
    OX 3:
    OX 4:
    OX 5:

    Thanks,
    Jihoon Jo
    Jihoon, I'm leaving this morning on a road trip to get an oxygen concentrator. PM me your email address and when I get back I can send you more complete information. I'm not as enthusiastic about Meco tips (that aren't made by a Meco company, they are made to work with Meco products) as I once was because we have found some quality control issues. The flame from some newer tips is not concentric but lopsided. Meco type tips are also sold by online jewelry supply stores.

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
    Jihoon, I'm leaving this morning on a road trip to get an oxygen concentrator. PM me your email address and when I get back I can send you more complete information. I'm not as enthusiastic about Meco tips (that aren't made by a Meco company, they are made to work with Meco products) as I once was because we have found some quality control issues. The flame from some newer tips is not concentric but lopsided. Meco type tips are also sold by online jewelry supply stores.
    Hey Doug - maybe drop the details in here rather than PM so that others can reap the benefits of this thread's information?

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    Hey Doug - maybe drop the details in here rather than PM so that others can reap the benefits of this thread's information?
    Yesterday I did a long road trip to get a couple of Devilbiss 525 oxygen concentrators. The guy was only 64 but needed a lung transplant. He said to qualify he couldn't get any more tattoos, couldn't drink or smoke or take meth. He figured with all those restrictions there was now nothing stopping him from going back to church :).

    My framebuilding class manual chapter on brazing equipment is WAY too long to copy and past here. I'll eventually post some suggestions on tip sizes. The longer I teach classes the more refined my recommendations can become (even though I've been doing them for 45 years). Pros like and can use much bigger tips than amateurs - especially beginners. Their reaction times are much faster when they don't have to think about what to do. Paige has come out with a new bigger multi-port tip that I haven't tried yet. Because their stuff was designed for the jewelry trade, some of their tips are too small for our purposes. While on the other hand, G-tec multi-port tips were designed for the plumbing trade and are mostly too big. Their TEN series in brass instead of copper are the same as Victor's TEN series. The only reason I don't strongly recommend G-tec's mixer + elbows is because the length and shape of their elbows are different than what I am used to and as a result don't prefer them. Someone just starting out wouldn't have that issue.

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
    Yesterday I did a long road trip to get a couple of Devilbiss 525 oxygen concentrators. The guy was only 64 but needed a lung transplant. He said to qualify he couldn't get any more tattoos, couldn't drink or smoke or take meth. He figured with all those restrictions there was now nothing stopping him from going back to church :).

    My framebuilding class manual chapter on brazing equipment is WAY too long to copy and past here. I'll eventually post some suggestions on tip sizes. The longer I teach classes the more refined my recommendations can become (even though I've been doing them for 45 years). Pros like and can use much bigger tips than amateurs - especially beginners. Their reaction times are much faster when they don't have to think about what to do. Paige has come out with a new bigger multi-port tip that I haven't tried yet. Because their stuff was designed for the jewelry trade, some of their tips are too small for our purposes. While on the other hand, G-tec multi-port tips were designed for the plumbing trade and are mostly too big. Their TEN series in brass instead of copper are the same as Victor's TEN series. The only reason I don't strongly recommend G-tec's mixer + elbows is because the length and shape of their elbows are different than what I am used to and as a result don't prefer them. Someone just starting out wouldn't have that issue.
    I live on my Victor 2-W-1 tip (that's a size two if I am not mistaken.)
    Where does that fit in with your notes above?
    And, what is an oxygen concentrator and where in the process does it fit?

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    I live on my Victor 2-W-1 tip (that's a size two if I am not mistaken.)
    Where does that fit in with your notes above?
    And, what is an oxygen concentrator and where in the process does it fit?
    I’ll answer your 2nd question 1st. An oxygen concentrator is a medical device to help damaged lungs get enough oxygen into the bloodstream. It takes the nitrogen and carbon dioxide out of atmosphere air and delivers something more than 90% pure oxygen. Coincidently they can also be used to supply oxygen for brazing. They replace pressurized oxygen bottles and regulators. Some like my Devilbiss even has a “B” size outlet fitting to screw a welding hose directly into. The medical industry regulates them tightly for medical use but used ones are allowed to be sold for non-medical purposes. “lampmaking” activity (whatever that is – I think it has to do with melting and shaping glass) likes them for home use. I got the idea from Frank the Welder in Vermont.

    They are great for home brazing purposes. The expense and bother of unhooking a tank from accessories and transporting them to a local welding supply store for an exchange is a thing of the past. In addition they are much safer to use because they aren’t a potential bomb or unguided missel. Some welding supply stores in bigger cities won’t deliver either acetylene or oxygen tanks to a non-business address. And some insurance policies and apartment regulations also prevent home oxyacetylene use.

    One of the challenges is buying a decent one. I got my 1st refurbished one from M&M Medical in Beaverdale, PA. They are the supplier for many places that sell concentrators for non-medical purposes. It cost me $300 with a 3 year warranty. On Craigslist they are either really cheap ($100 to $300) because they are sold by relatives of someone that has passed away or really expensive from the original owner because they paid a lot to purchase or rent theirs from a medical supply company. Those that love bargains can be great procrastinators to buying one always hoping to get one cheaper or with fewer operating hours. Most of my students have paid less than $200 and that is cheaper than buying an oxygen tank and regulator. They combine nicely with propane because propane is far less regulated and much more convenient to buy and transport. The cost difference between propane and acetylene to buy and/or use is huge.

    Oxygen concentrators have some background hum and has to be turned on a couple of minutes before use so it can purge the line of less pure air. Here is a picture of oxypropane setup. Behind the bench is my oxyacetylene unit which I seldom use anymore. Also on the left is my TIG welding machine. IMG_3370.jpg.

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    I live on my Victor 2-W-1 tip (that's a size two if I am not mistaken.)
    Where does that fit in with your notes above?
    And, what is an oxygen concentrator and where in the process does it fit?
    The Victor #2 tip works great for an all purpose size for pros using acetylene. Its 0.046" orifice size is a bit big for those starting out or with less experience. Beginners benefit from starting with smaller tip sizes because it easier to control their heat without the joint getting suddenly too hot. It takes them longer to recognize what they need to do and then react. That delay can result in a cooked joint.

    As a general rule because propane is a bit cooler than acetylene it helps to go up one or two tip sizes. TM Technologies puts a chart on their website so it is possible to compare tip orifice sizes between companies. For example a Victor #2 tip is the same size as a Smith AW206. A general purpose Victor Propane tip would be their 3-TEN. That is a tip that screws onto the end of their UN-J mixer/elbow. Both are designed to work with propane.

    The best tips for propane are the ones that have multi-port orifices. The center flame is surrounded by little flames that sharpen and stabilize the center flame. It is less likely that the force of the gases bouncing off the joint will blow out the flame. This can be particularly annoying when fillet brazing. This characteristic is a problem when using propane with acetylene equipment.

    When I am helping students braze different joints, I choose different size Paige tips (they are a company that has designed special propane tips for the jewelry trade using a Meco Midget torch handle) for each joint depending on the thickness of the parts. A couple of years ago we talked them into making adapters so their tips could be using with other torch handles. It is easy for a pro to ether crank up or dial down the volume of fuel and oxygen coming through based on what they are brazing, but for learners it is best to have the best size for each type of joint. Unfortunately multi-port tips are difficult to compare with other tips because of their number of holes.

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    Default Re: Finding the best torch handle and tips to work with propane

    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Fattic View Post
    ... I'm not as enthusiastic about Meco tips (...) as I once was because we have found some quality control issues. The flame from some newer tips is not concentric but lopsided.
    Regarding the "lopsided" flame, are you talking about the center flame or the 'ring of fire'(multi-port holes) around it?

    Did this "lopsided" issue present itself brand new or did it gradually get that way with use?
    * I ask because a UK frame builder Stephen Hilton mentioned on his blog while describing the Welders Warehouse 'multi-jet' tips, that he has "spoken to someone who has used similar ones in the past but abandoned them due to repeated blockage of the fine nozzles." ... but has "not found this a significant problem" himself.

    If the issue has to do with partial clogging of the fine multi-port holes, would it be possible to flush it out by soaking the tips in alcohol, acetone, or hot water etc.?

    What did the supplier/manufacturer have to say about this and what did they offer to resolve the issue(s)?

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